Iran’s Revolution: Discontinuity or Continuity of Generations?

Written by
Aladdin Touran

Ahmad Khatami, Friday imam of Tehran, 100 days after the beginning of the uprising that has covered 282 Iranian cities, addressed the Iranian youth in Friday prayers: “Many people who were deceived in the riots were influenced by cyberspace. You who are in your twenties, in your teens, be aware that the enemies of your youth and future are targeting you.”

Before him, several regime officials claimed that the current uprising resulted from the spontaneous and purposeless presence of the “generation z“, young people who have rebelled against the old traditions due to their age.

Ezzatollah Zarghami, the mullahs Minister of Culture, says that the interrogators and prison guards of the regime do not understand the language of those arrested during the uprising and are very young.

The official newspaper of Etemad wrote, “The youth of the 70s and 80s (according to the Hijri calendar) is frustrated and caught up in family problems, and as a result, they become rebellious.” The same has been visible for two months in street or rooftop protests all over the country.”

In addition to summarizing the uprising as youth rebels who rebelled due to age and cultural discontinuity, the mullahs claim that their dealings with this generation were instructive and educational so that they can find the right path by discovering the achievements of the system. On December 30, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps spokesman, Ramezan Sharif, said, “The troublemakers are our deceived children: after talking to us for half an hour, they complain about why you didn’t introduce the system’s achievements to us sooner!”

While killing children, the Iranian regime claims to fight vandalism and insecurity
Two lies in the claim:

The first lie is the claim for instructive dealing instead of repression: until today, more than 750 demonstrators, mostly young, have been killed by direct fire or police beating or under torture. The mullahs condemned 100 demonstrators to death and killed more than 70 children.

The second lie is that the uprising is only the result of the rebellion of young people who have a cultural break with the previous generation and, according to one of the regime’s newspapers, “they live in a world different from the mental world” of the regime’s leaders.

But the reality is that contrary to the claims of the regime leaders, the young women and men who risk their lives and take to the streets and shout “death to Khamenei” know very well what they want and do not want. They want freedom, democracy, people’s rule, and getting rid of the religious and fundamentalist regime. They do not want the rule of force and the killing and torture by the mullahs.

These demands shouted in the streets of Iran today are not new at all, and the people of Iran are not strangers to them. These demands were four decades old, under the mullahs and, before that, under the Shah.

Thirty thousand prisoners were massacred in 1988 within a few months by Khomeini’s religious decree and by the likes of Ebrahim Raisi, the current president of the mullahs. At that time, almost all of them were in their twenties, just like today’s twenty-year-olds. Contrary to what the mullahs said, they were neither culturally dislodged nor ignorant of their desires. They, too, wanted freedom. Fatemeh Mesbah, who was only 13 years old when executed in 1981, put her life for the cause of liberty too. More than a hundred thousand resistance martyrs followed this path with full knowledge.

Before that, during Shah’s time, most of the executed people from the two leading resistance organizations, the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) and the People’s Fedayeen, were also in their twenties.

Of course, after the massacre, the mullahs tried their best to erase the desire for freedom, democracy, and people’s rule from the minds of the new generation. This is allegedly “cultural” but, in practice, an anti-cultural effort is probably historically unique. Everyone was involved in this cultural manipulation, from textbooks to commissioned movies to ideological political agents in schools. So far, hundreds of volumes of books have been published by various regime organs and under multiple names against the MEK. “Death to the MEK” is the main slogan of the regime’s official Friday prayer ceremonies of the past forty years.

Slamming the MEK on state TV and Friday prayer sermons across Iran- Oct 28
In 2019 alone, the regime ordered twenty TV series and movies against the MEK. Every year in July, the Ministry of Information organizes a one-week exhibition of photos and documents on the MEK’s 1988 Eternal Light operation against the regime in all 31 provinces.

So, the new generation has been under the cultural bombardment of the mullahs since they recognized themselves.

However, the twenty-year-olds who brave the repressive forces on the streets are exactly the continuation of the ideals and actions of the hundreds of thousands who were destroyed by the regime twenty years ago. Most of the MEK Resistance Unit members, which guarantee the continuation of the uprising for more than three months, are part of these youths.

This is no discontinuation but a continuation of the same ideals between generations—ideas whose time has come.

Mullahs fool themselves for no reason: Victor Hugo said, ” Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

The mullahs cannot even keep their children in their homes away from being influenced by the same ideals. Mostafa Mirsalim, a member of the regime’s parliament and presidential candidate, announced that his son was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of being a MEK supporter. And elite students and young people who have won international awards are now in the regime’s prisons on the same charges.

Back to top button